Aish Kodesh 09/09/03 Parsha KiTavo - Rabbi Henoch Dov Hoffman
, captive woman.
Parsha Ki Tavo
We are told regarding Amalak to remember to forget. In therapy you have to become aware of old memories in order to forget them.
The first time the shofar was blown was at the Akeida, so the meaning of the shofars is to improve. Abraham thought that G*d was love until the moment he heard G*d tell him to sacrifice his son and the world turned upside down. If the world does not turn upside down there is no spiritual growth. Spiritual growth occurs only if you do not know where you are headed. If you know where you are headed, you are stopped by expectations. The shofar is a paradigm shift, a symbol of freedom from all of our expectations. The image of the captive woman is very disturbing. The Satan is the main helper of HaShem.
The story of Job and the Akeida meld together. They both begin with a bet between the Satan and HaShem.
Captives do not run away. They become part of their captivity. The fear makes people identify with their captors. Patty Hearst is a good example.
There are no coffins in Israel. The Torah says the worst thing is to go back to work right away after a family member has died. Our customs are meant to be intense and make us present. TENA: the basket for first fruits. The body is the basket for the soul. There is a gradual journey of separation of the body and soul.
The mikva is G*d-water or birth water; it is uncontrolled. Man-water is from dammed vessels.
Meh-ila is taking dedicated funds by accident. The person who received the money is not guilty. If the person who made the mistake realizes what he did, then he is free from blame but the person he gave it to becomes implicated. Perception changes reality.
The Satan asks Abraham how a god of love could tell him to kill his son. Abraham says everything that is stated by Job. The Satan says he heard from behind the veil that he (Abraham) was supposed to sacrifice a ram, not his son. The questions of the Satan are all good questions.
Hagar and Abraham lifted up their eyes. Cain was afraid to lift up his eyes. If you cannot lift your eyes up you have no vision. In rock climbing, you have to push yourself away from the rock so you can see it.
In Torah the captive woman becomes the hated wife. The anger in the child is caused by getting dis-unified messages from parents.
Torah says it is a terrible mistake to think one person can own another person, and yet slavery is incorporated in the Torah.
There is more slavery in the world now than there used to be. There are thousands of women in the U.S. whose visas are being held, making them captives.
Aish Kodesh page 213. Do not project into the future to create a snare for your soul.
Captivity is a time of fear and subjugation. Shabbos is a time you can stop criticizing yourself and others and feel good.
If we do not accept who we are, we are trapped in a prison of denial.
No one knows why we do not blow the shofar on Shabbos. It is a primitive kishka cry, not a musical instrument, and therefore it is not prohibited on the grounds that playing a musical instrument on Shabbos is not allowed. Shabbos is a quiet time.
A triangle in a triangle is a clever way of turning three sides into nine sides. The blasts of the shofar turn one into nine. Teruah is a laugh and a cry because you cannot decided to have one without the other. The men who blow the shofar go to the mikva before Rosh HaShannah. Yael seduced Cicera in order to kill him with a peg. Similarly, Esther made herself like the earth when she had to be with Ahashveros. The blowing of the shofar is from the cries of the mother of Cicera, who was distraught when he did not return from battle. Why are we to feel compassion for her? She was a bad mother of a bad son, and yet we have to get G*d into the lowest places.
Joseph is one of our favorites for projection. He loved beauty and perfection.
Aish Kodesh page 119 bottom. Prayer is a reflexive verb; we have to pray ourselves. In order to say Baruch ataw, you have to be present. On Shabbos we are not to talk about the future or the past; this is from the rule of being present and also from laws of muksa.
People who came to America gave up Shabbos in order to make a living. Giving up Shabbos has a big price tag: you cannot be present and you cannot say baruch attaw.
Joseph says everyone else did it to him. When he lets out a scream of self-realization, two minutes later Paro has a dream and Joseph is released.
Abraham framed all the things that happened to him as tests. A righteous person falls down and gets up. A rasha fall down and stays down.
The davener must reveal himself through his prayer. May be better to daven in front of a mirror (except that this is not permitted). This is a time to face yourself, not face G*d. Often prayers are for rescue and blame.
Moshe begged G*d 515 times to let him into the Promised Land, but he was really begging himself to have long-term perspective, to know his purposes.
The captive woman is our soul. We have to strip off the veneer to find out what is really there.
Aish Kodesh page 121. The first thing you do when you enter the Promised Land s give first fruits. When you take challah, you are saying that you are not the owner. You tie a string around the first fruit, put it in a basket and bring it to Jerusalem. The rich and poor had to use the same kind of basket.
The pig is a symbol of hypocrisy because it looks kosher with its split hoof, but on the inside, where it should be chewing its cud, it is not. The word Pharisee means hypocrite.
The Hebrew word for venom also means whisper. Channah, the mother of Samuel, says you have to whisper the Shemona Essray. Secrets are whispered. The snake is our desires. We are trying to charm the snake. We are seduced into bad fantasies by a part of ourself. The snake would have brought precious stones to the Jewish people if it had not been cursed.
Gehenom a place for purification of things done for an ulterior purpose. There is a residue that needs to be burned off.
The snakes are the Nazis. The snake did not kill because it was a carnivore. Nazis lost the biggest battle, in Leningrad, because they refused to use trains for supplies for the soldiers. The trains were used, instead, to take Jews to Auschwitz. G*d is revealed through the senseless violence, and we can see that G*d, not the Nazi, is chastising us. We are tortured for no benefit to the snake, so it is naked and revealed. Another example is the instruction of Pharaoh to withhold bricks from the Hebrew slaves. Doing this did not benefit him and thus was supernatural.
Say your personal prayers so they are audible so you can really listen to what is coming out of your mouth. Listen deeply.
Here we try very hard to say each word and work hard to create new prayer experiences.